Frank, Brian, and Neal Caverly run Caverly Farms in Clinton, Maine. The farm has 400 milking cows and 550 young stock comprised primarily of Holsteins and Ayshires. The Caverly's grow their own corn and haylage on about 1,000 acres of land to feed the herd in their free stall barn.
For the Caverlys, their farm has been a family affair ever since they first started it in the 1940's. Brian's wife and daughter, (Sally and Amanda), work full-time on the farm, and Neal's wife Lindsey helps out wherever she can, but mostly she takes care of their newest arrival, young daughter Alexandria. Neal's brother Dale was a partner before he passed away, and Neal's mom Susie pitches in on the farm and at the family's convenience store.
The Caverly Farm had a modest beginning and started out as a small 4-H project for the family. It was simply a labor of love that grew into a passion. Frank planned to become a full-time dairy farmer and formed a partnership with his brothers EC and Pudge. Over time they fell more and more in love with the land, the animals, and the life style. Neal grew up on the farm and has worked there all his life, watching it grow into the major undertaking it is today. Says Neal: "Growing up on the farm was terrific, and I'm happy to give my family the same experience. I started driving a tractor when I was five. I got fresh air and exercise every day, and I loved working with the land and the animals. The farm matures people more quickly."
The Caverlys are not shy about their affection for their farm and their life style. They host an open house where some 400 visitors come each year to get a taste of dairy farming, learn how to milk a cow, and see where their food comes from. They kids also enjoy the small petting zoo the family sets up and the chocolate milk and cooks that they serve. Visitors are a common sight on the farm throughout the year, and the family is always willing to give a tour, let the visitors see how the cows are milked, and even let them get their hands dirty and help out for a while. "It's all part of being good ambassadors for the industry and helping people understand how important family farms are to our economy and our heritage. People see how much we love it, and they walk away with a new appreciation for what dairy farming is all about."